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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: August 30, 2023

AeroFarms president to deliver summit keynote

AeroFarms President and Chief Financial Officer Guy Blanchard will lead a keynote address at the 2nd annual edition of the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Summit East, Sept. 19-20, 2023, at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) Institute Conference Center in Danville, Va. Blanchard’s keynote will shed light on AeroFarms’ journey towards resiliency, emphasizing the conference’s core mission to unite the CEA business and academic sectors, fostering learning, networking, and collective growth in the face of industry challenges.

Guy Blanchard’s keynote is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 9 a.m.

The CEA Summit East is co-hosted by Indoor Ag-Con, the largest vertical farming | CEA gathering, and the CEA Innovation Center – a partnership between IALR and Virginia Tech’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

During his keynote, Blanchard will share how AeroFarms is emerging stronger in the months following a Chapter 11 filing, touching on growing retail partnerships with leaders like Walmart, H-E-B, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, and other initiatives. He will also provide updates on AeroFarms’ newest farm in Danville, which continues to scale according to plan.

Blanchard brings extensive project finance and corporate development experience for AeroFarms, a leading clean-technology company that builds and operates commercial state-of-the-art indoor vertical farms around the world, helping transform agriculture. A Certified B Corporation, AeroFarms has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in the World and by Inc. as one of the Top 25 Disruptive Companies. Guy last served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, at Amonix, Inc., a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems equipment manufacturer and developer.

Guy has also served as a Managing Director for Fortress Investment Group’s Drawbridge family of funds, where he was a principal investor with a focus on structured investments in long-lived assets. Prior to that, Guy was Vice President of Corporate Finance at GATX Capital Corporation and CFO for JTP Manufacturing. Guy holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA, both from the University of California, Davis.

“We are excited to welcome Guy Blanchard to our CEA Summit keynote stage. AeroFarms has been a trailblazer in the indoor farming industry, and his address will undoubtedly provide invaluable insights into the path forward for the indoor farming sector as it confronts new challenges, and new opportunities, head-on,” said Brian Sullivan, CEO, Indoor Ag-Con.

“Having Guy Blanchard share his perspective on AeroFarms’ journey through recent challenges aligns perfectly with our mission to foster collaboration and innovation within the CEA community,” adds Dr. Scott Lowman, Co-Director of the CEA Innovation Center, and Vice President of Applied Research at IALR.

The CEA Summit East is custom-tailored for new and well-seasoned CEA industry members from throughout the Eastern U.S., including indoor and greenhouse growers, facility owners and operators, educators, government officials, real estate developers, architects, construction specialists, sales and marketing teams and others.

During the two-day event, industry members will have the opportunity to hear from CEOs, researchers, and experts leading keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions; explore tabletop exhibits presenting the latest CEA innovations and services; and enjoy a host of networking opportunities ranging from meals and coffee breaks to an evening social event.


WHEN: Tuesday, September 19 – Wednesday, September 20, 2023
WHERE: IALR Institute Conference Center, 150 Slayton Ave, Danville, VA 24540
INFO: For information on exhibiting or attending visit


Since 2004, AeroFarms has been leading the way for indoor vertical farming and championing transformational innovation for agriculture. AeroFarms is a Certified B Corporation. Named one of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company two years in a row and one of TIME’s Best Inventions in Food, AeroFarms patented, award-winning indoor vertical farming technology provides the optimal conditions for healthy plants to thrive, taking agriculture to a new level of precision, food safety, and productivity while using up to 95% less water and no pesticides versus traditional field farming. Its products can be found at major selling partners like Ahold Delhaize, Amazon Fresh, Baldor Specialty Food, Compass Group, Harris Teeter, H-E-B, Marcus BP, Momofuku Noodle Bars, ShopRite, The Fresh Market, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market. For additional information, visit


Indoor Ag-Con is the premier global event series focused on the future of indoor farming. Since 2013, the trade show and conference, the industry’s largest, has been at the forefront of the rapidly expanding vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture sector, providing a platform for industry leaders, innovators, and researchers to connect, share knowledge, and drive the industry forward. More information-


The Virginia Tech-IALR Controlled Environment Agriculture Innovation Center is a joint project between IALR and Virginia Tech’s School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center. By developing strategic partnerships with both industry and academia, the goal of the Innovation Center is to conduct research and educational programming to develop, promote and advance the CEA sector in the U.S. and internationally. More information–

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